RUSH: We have Governor Mike Pence on the phone, the vice presidential candidate. Governor Pence, here you are. You’re back again. This is it. This is the big day. What do you have planned? What’s in store? What are you doing today?
PENCE: Rush, we’re actually loading up here in Indianapolis, getting ready to get on the plane and head to New York City, where I’m looking forward to standing tonight with a man that I hope and believe will be the next president of the United States of America, Donald Trump.
RUSH: That would be profound. It would be. You joined the ticket back in the summer, and you have been working every day, tirelessly, for this. Tonight is it. No campaign stops today; is that right?
PENCE: That’s right, Rush. We finished last night. We got back home, all of us, a little bit around… (chuckling) I think about three in the morning. You wouldn’t have believed the rally. We actually welcomed Election Day after midnight in Michigan, the fifth rally that Donald Trump had done that day. We met up together in New Hampshire and flew to Michigan. The crowd, the enthusiasm was extraordinary, and we rang in the Election Day with thousands of Americans who know we can make America great again.
I think to come to this day, obviously for me, from my little family is deeply humbling. My grandfather immigrated to this country from Ireland when he was about my son’s age. My mom and dad built a small gas station business. I have to tell you, walking over to the little church near the governor’s residence today and casting a vote? To be on the ballot with Donald Trump, it’s a deeply moving experience for me, for my family. But I think the connection he has made to millions of Americans, who know that we can be stronger at home and abroad, who know that this economy —
RUSH: Governor, hold that thought.
PENCE: — can be more prosperous.
RUSH: Governor, let me interrupt you, because something new is happening this year. The exit poll data is being reported by the polling agencies. It’s not filtering out in ways that might make it dubious. For example, Morning Consult/Politico has released already — what you were just talking about — exit poll data that says this: Voters heading to the polls today, voters leaving the polls who have voted today say they are twice as likely this year as opposed to 2012 to vote for a president who, quote, “is a strong leader.” More than one-third (36%) of voters this election in exit polls said being a strong leader was the most important quality when picking a president, compared with 18% who said that back in 2012.
RUSH: What does that mean to you?
PENCE: Well, I think that… You know, it means that the last seven-and-a-half years have awakened America’s place in the world, stifled America’s economy, and the American people know it, and they long to have America standing tall in the world again. They long to see a president who will rebuild our military, revive our economy not through more government, more taxes, more Obamacare, but, as Donald Trump plans to do (cell drops), cutting taxes, rolling back regulations, repealing and replacing Obamacare and having the kind of trade deals that will put American jobs first.
But I would just tell you, you know, at this hour, this is now in the hands of the American people. You know, it seemed like all of the pundits and the editorial writers and, you know, the political class have been having their say for the last year and a half. (chuckles) This is now in the hands of the American people, and I just couldn’t miss the opportunity, Rush, to reach out to your tens of millions of listeners and just say, “Now is the time to step forward and exercise that franchise, that right to vote that’s been passed on to generations of Americans at great sacrifice.”
To all those in the sound of my voice who share our values, who know that we can be a stronger America at home and abroad, a more prosperous America — that we can revive America the way that Ronald Reagan did in the 1980s, and that we can add justices to the Supreme Court who honor and uphold our Constitution — now is the time to come out, to take the time to cast that vote and make Donald Trump the next president of the United States.
RUSH: Let me ask you to make a pitch to the type of voter that we know is out there. There are people that haven’t voted. They know it’s Election Day. They don’t know what to do. They’re not particularly enamored of anybody running. I don’t think the people that listen to this program need to be told to vote. I told them that at the beginning of the program. I think that’s been something they’ve been chomping at the bit to do.
RUSH: In fact, Governor, isn’t it interesting…? You talked about a year and a half ago. It was a year and a half ago when this campaign began, here we are today and the experts, pundits, commentariat, and they can’t tell us what’s gonna happen!
RUSH: After a year and a half of trying to shape public opinion, after a year and a half of trying to get the result they wanted, they today cannot tell us what’s gonna happen. I find that refreshing, encouraging, and fascinating at the same time.
RUSH: But the question: What would you say to the voter who doesn’t want anything to do with Hillary Clinton because of what’s known but has some problems with Mr. Trump as well and so they just — and they’re having trouble reconciling voting at all. If you had a chance to talk to a voter who said to you, “Governor Pence, I don’t like Mrs. Clinton, but I’ve really got some problems with Donald Trump, too,” what would you tell them?
PENCE: Well, I would tell that I’ve seen Donald Trump when the klieg lights are off, Rush, just like you have. I’ve seen him off the campaign trail, and I truly do believe that he has the leadership qualities and the vision to make America great again. But the other thing I would say is, you know, at the end of the day before the polls today, the people of this country are not just gonna choose between two candidates. This is a choice between two futures — and in a very real sense, I think this is a bit like Ronald Reagan said many years ago.
This isn’t even a choice between liberal and conservative, between Republican and Democrat. This is, as Reagan said, a choice between up and down, whether we’re gonna continue to go down the same hill we’ve been going down to a weaker America at home and abroad — a more stifled American economy under the weight of higher taxes, more regulation, more Obamacare, more bad trade deals — walking farther away from our most cherished constitutional ideals and principles.
Or we’re gonna stop, plant our feet, turn around, and march back up the hill to a stronger America at home and abroad, to rebuild our military, to revive our economy to get tax relief and economic freedom and to have appointments to our highest court and all the courts of this country that will strictly construe the Constitution of the United States. That’s the choice before us, and for those who cherish the values that you celebrated for decades on the airwaves of America, the choice could not be more clear, that for the change that we want — for a stronger, more prosperous America grounded in our highest ideals — the clear choice is to make Donald Trump the 45th president of the United States.
RUSH: Well, you have magnificently made that message clear to people. You’ve delivered it well out there in your role here as the vice presidential nominee. The thing that strikes me about this, people who are expressing dissatisfaction, unhappiness, let’s say with the direction of the country in general, and those people, they’re legion. I mean, there are millions and millions of Americans who know that whatever is happening today, this just doesn’t feel right, this is not the America we dreamed of when we were kids, thought we would grow up to. This is not how things seem to operate.
One thing that I tell people is that, if that’s your view, Donald Trump and Mike Pence don’t have any fingerprints on any of this. Everything that is causing people to be unnerved or uneasy or frightened about the future, that’s all been done by people who are on the Democrat side seeking reelection, in Mrs. Clinton’s case seeking election, but as far as Mr. Trump is concerned and you, you have nothing to do with Obamacare, you have nothing to do with the stimulus that stifled the economy, you have nothing to do with 94 million Americans not working. And I think that’s a telling point. I think it’s something that people need to factor if they find themselves undecided here in what to do.
PENCE: Well, I think that’s, as usual, extremely well said. Seven out of 10 Americans know the country’s headed in the wrong direction, that in a very real sense that this is a clear choice between change in the status quo and I’ve always been telling crowds, the other side says if you like your status quo you can keep it. They’ll keep that promise, Rush. The truth is for real change. I mean, and as you said, when I was in the Congress, I fought against Obamacare, I fought against the so-called stimulus bill, I fought against all these policies of borrowing and spending and bailouts.
And I tell you what, Donald Trump’s vision for this country parallels greatly with the vision that Ronald Reagan used and he implemented to revive America during a very similar time where we had a president who told us that we were in a time of malaise in the American economy and that things are just gonna be that way for a while. Reagan steps up in that great first inaugural address and says, “And why shouldn’t we dream great dreams? After all, we’re Americans.” And the American people came roaring back, the American economy came back.
And I truly do believe that Donald Trump is a different time, they’re different men, but I believe that Donald Trump has the leadership qualities, and he has the vision to make America great again. And I couldn’t be more honored to be standing with him and couldn’t be more grateful for the millions of people across this country who are stepping forward today to cast their vote to make Donald Trump the next president of the United States.
RUSH: Well, it’s rarefied air that you have been breathing. Not too many people get to do what you have been doing since this summer. It’s not too many people that run for president, not very many people get nominated, not very many people are chosen to be vice president. As you said, it’s a sobering reality to reflect on what’s happened to you, and that’s the great thing about you. You take nothing for granted and you are very appreciative of everything that’s come your way. And I know you want to share that with the country. You want the people of this country to benefit from it the same way you have.
PENCE: Well, that’s right, Rush. We’re deeply humbled. We’re grateful to God. We’re grateful for the confidence that Donald Trump and his family have placed in our little family, and we’re grateful to the American people whose support and prayers have carried both of our families forward. But as I said, as we head to the airport to wing our way to New York City to see what the future holds, this is in the hands of the American people, and anyone within the sound of my voice this morning who has not yet voted, I would just encourage you, if you want real change, if you want a stronger America at home and abroad and an America that cherishes our highest ideals, head out the door right now and go cast your vote for Trump, the next president of the United States, and we will make America great again.
RUSH: Thank you, Governor Pence. I appreciate the call and always appreciate the time, and best of luck. I know it’s gonna be nail-biting time all day long today. I mean, we’re all that way; it’s gotta be double for you. So I hope it’s a great day for you. I hope you have a wonderful time today and tonight and we’ll look forward to seeing more of you later.
PENCE: Thank you, Rush.
RUSH: Mike Pence, governor of Indiana on his way out to vote — or no, he did vote, and he’s on his way to New York to join up with Trump at the Trump Tower and for an eventual TV appearance tonight.